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04/17/2012 / thriftomancer

Postage Stamp Begins

Okay, I finally finished cutting the miniscule squares I needed to properly start making my first genuine postage stamp quilt about a week ago. All 1600 of them.

Believe it or not, it’s not as entirely mind-numbing as it may sound. I actually only cut 1300 squares in this frenzy and supplemented the horde with 300 of the 2.5″x2.5″ linen squares that I made during my last stash-busting campaign. If you remember, most of those squares were used up at the time making this quilt, but I still has plenty left over and available for bolstering my crazy. Luckily in the proper colors too.

The main idea behind this quilt is stash-busting, as I’ve now reached stash critical mass in my cotton fabrics. It’s also a little bit of skill-building since I’ve never tried this before and need to pay more careful attention to seam allowance than I usually do to carry it off. To both those ends I rifled through my stocks to find the bits and chunks left over from making two quilts that, since they’re from before I started this blog, I don’t believe I’ve shown you yet.

Quilt number one was my first attempt at a 1000 pyramids pattern which eventually ended up as a birthday present to my mum. (I’m a very good daughter.) This is the back of it, which shows off the fabrics involved much better.

Mum's pyramids - back

It’s made from about 26 cotton and cotton blend button-up shirts, if I remember correctly, all obtained from the Salvation Army as is my wont.

Number two is a summer quilt (it has flannel as batting instead of the full-on needle-punched cotton batt I usually use) that, due to its size, is really unwieldy to photograph. Especially when it’s windy. So I’ll show you a detail instead. It’ll give you a better idea of what the individual fabrics look like anyway.

Yellow squares detail

I stepped out of my normal MO for this one and used entirely new, cotton fabric for it.

In the aftermath of these two, I had a large volume of fabric left that I shoved off into storage. While I did use small amounts of it here and there in various other projects, there was still enough hanging around that I finally had to haul it out and use it all up at once.

These are the array of squares I got from the remaining fabric after much slicing. They’re all 2.5″x2.5″ in dimension.

1600 squares

As you can see, they’re mostly primary colors with brown and the full spectrum of gray thrown into the mix. I then augmented that slightly by tossing in the linen solids which added more shades of each hue as well as more of the secondary colors orange and purple. To be plain, I’ve got everything in here except green. (I’ve noticed a stunning lack of green in my work.)

Now the fun part, putting all these bits together.

Instead of laying out all the pieces at once, where I would either have to keep them stationary and undisturbed or pinning them all together in one sitting (because that is just too much), I’ve been putting them together in blocks of 5×5 squares, then joining those blocks into 10×10 square quadrants. The process looks a little something like this:

From square to qudrant

It actually goes much faster than I expected. My design calls for 16 of those 10×10 quadrants and thus far I’ve managed to piece together 8 of them, a full half of the top. The way I’m going, I’m piecing about 200 squares per sitting. A pretty good clip, if I may say so.

Here’s what I’ve got done so far:

Postage stamp top - WIP

It seems I’ve inadvertently worked in some diagonal color trends. Hm…

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One Comment

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  1. Jessie / Sep 3 2012 6:20 pm

    I love seeing the process as much as the finished quilt, Which, by the way, is awesome too!

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